Herring gull trapped by netting on Port of Liverpool Building triggers RSPCA rescue

A herring gull which was rescued after becoming entangled on the Port of Liverpool Building has prompted a renewed warning from the RSPCA about the hazards that damaged or badly-fitting bird deterrent netting can cause to wildlife.

The stricken bird was reported to the animal welfare charity after becoming tangled up on a tower at the historic waterfront building.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Hana Yen and Inspector Anthony Joynes headed to the scene on Tuesday, 28 May, and were given access to the roof by security staff.

Using a ladder and a reach and rescue pole, they were able to cut the gull free from the tower with scissors and remove the netting from around the animal’s wing.

The bird was then taken to Rutland House Veterinary Hospital in St Helens for treatment, where an examination revealed a possible fractured collar bone which should heal within the coming days. The gull will then be transferred to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire for ongoing care.

Hana said, “This poor bird was completely entangled by the wing in bird deterrent netting and was never going to be able to get free without help.

“We all want to see wildlife thriving in our communities – but unfortunately we see a lot of birds trapped in or behind netting – and a major cause of this is bird deterrent netting. 

Problems arise when the netting is put up incorrectly or becomes damaged, leaving gaps where birds can enter and become trapped. Quite often it’s fixed in high or hard-to-reach areas – as was the case here – making the rescue of trapped animals even more difficult.

“Birds can suffer a long and painful death from injury or starvation if they’re unable to escape, so we’d reiterate our warning to anyone who uses netting as a deterrent to ensure it’s well maintained. We’d also encourage people to look at what steps they can take to deter birds both safely and humanely.”    

The RSPCA has advised the building’s management company to remove the netting or ensure any that is put up in future is properly maintained.  

Members of the public can call the charity’s cruelty and advice helpline on 0300 1234 999 if they see live birds trapped in netting.

If people have seen dead birds in netting or have concerns about a particular location where birds are becoming regularly trapped, the RSPCA urges them to forward the address, property owner (if known) and date of the incident to wildlife@rspca.org.uk.

The owner will then be contacted with advice and guidance to help resolve the issue. 

Images: RSPCA

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